‘Refuting’ the Chief Justice

This refers to the news item titled “Corona on ‘ill-gotten wealth’: I’m not stupid.” (Inquirer, 1/12/12) We beg to disagree with Chief Justice Renato Corona.

1. It was not smart for him to accept his midnight appointment as chief justice amid the controversy that accompanied it.

2. It is not brilliant—but totally pathetic—for him to portray that the Supreme Court decision on the Hacienda Luisita case is the reason the Aquino administration is trying to get him out of the Supreme Court. When President Aquino refused to take his oath of office before Corona, the Supreme Court had not yet decided on the Hacienda Luisita case. P-Noy had been assailing Corona’s acceptance of the chief justice position as illegal long before the Hacienda Luisita case was decided. This Hacienda Luisita fib is an afterthought, a case of putting the cart before the horse.

3. It was not intelligent for Corona—when he was asked for the first time why he accepted the controversial appointment—to answer that “It was my dream, and the dream of every lawyer to be a chief justice.” Former Sen. Rene Saguisag was offered the position of associate justice of the Supreme Court long before former Chief Justice Hilario Davide was named to the Supreme Court, but he declined because, he said, there were others more deserving of the position. The lawyers who were recommended by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) to the position of chief justice, and whose names were on the JBC list with Corona’s, declined the recommendation, citing as reason the clear and pertinent provisions of the Constitution. Corona seems never to have grasped the sacredness of the position of chief justice. It is not a matter of ambition, sir, but a calling.

4. It is plainly foolish for Corona to assume that the public believes the declaration in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) that the 300-sq m condominium unit he purchased in the Bellagio costs only P6.8 million. One parking lot already costs P2 million. Assuming that the parking unit has an area of 15-sq m, it therefore makes the value of the 300-sq m condominium unit at least P40 million (15 sq m at 2 m x 300 sq m). And the market value per square meter of a condominium unit costs much higher than that of a parking lot!

5. Lastly, when he declared that “Kamatayan lang ang mag-aalis sa akin sa pwesto ko,” he showed a narrow mind. Corona should have been taught that there are such words as “sakripisyo,” “kahihiyan” and “delikadesa,” which are honorable and acceptable reasons for resigning. Remember that the core issue in the impeachment trial is Corona’s moral fitness to be chief justice, a position that at one time or another was held by noble jurists like Jose P. Laurel, Claudio Teehankee and Davide. It is not the Supreme Court that is on trial before the Senate, it is the person who may destroy the institution that he is supposed to serve.


League of Attorneys and Union

of Reformist for the Enjoyment

of Liberty (Laurel),

Sta. Cruz, Virac, Catanduanes;


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Short URL: http://opinion.inquirer.net/?p=22285

Tags: corona impeachment , ill-gotten wealth , judiciary , letters , midnight appointment , SALN , Supreme Court

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Ukraine FM: We are ready to fight Russia
  • Slain officer’s ‘diagram’ rocks PNP
  • 2 contractors fined P25,000 for delays in Edsa rehab
  • Luisita beneficiaries take over renters
  • 5 years of hard work pay off for top UP grad
  • Sports

  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • NLEX roars to 7th D-League win
  • Lifestyle

  • A brand for life
  • Wear a rainbow on your wrist
  • Wearing Kate Moss
  • Sail into summer
  • Life lessons from the Ultimate Warrior
  • Entertainment

  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • OMB exec’s assurance: We work 24/7
  • Business

  • Gaming stocks gain, PSEi eases on profit-taking
  • Cebu Pacific flew 3.74M passengers as of March
  • Corporate bonds sweeteners
  • Professionals in the family business
  • Foreign funds flowed out in Q1, says BSP
  • Technology

  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Opinion

  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • A graduation story
  • Global Nation

  • Afghan hospital guard kills 3 American doctors
  • Career diplomat is new PH consul general in Los Angeles
  • US4GG: Aquino should ask Obama for TPS approval, drone technology
  • Complex health care system for California’s elderly and poor explained
  • Tiff with HK over Luneta hostage fiasco finally over
  • Marketplace